James Louis Gallagher reviews Hot Chip live at the Carling Academy Hot Chip’s reputation as one of the best live bands on the electro scene was firmly justified by last week’s performance at the Carling Academy.
In case you’re not familiar with this band, they’ve been described in the past as ‘electro-masters of contagious D.I.Y homemade lo-fi disco-funk’ and their performance retained the raw and euphoric energy we’ve come to expect. More cohesive and polished than their last tour, they switched effortlessly between old favourites such as ‘over and over’ to newer, mellower songs like Touch too Much.
At times Alexis Taylor’s heartfelt vocals inspired a more chilled out response from the crowd than normal but the swaying of hands showed how well received the newer material is.
A close mass of hot and shallow students, warping their bodies over and over and over again; few artists are capable of inciting such sickness. Hot Chip can, and do.
From the moment the four sickly-looking horsemen of the sleaze-apocalypse walked on – nerd-glasses strapped on hard, shaggy cardigans hanging off their joints – the collective loins of the Oxford hip-brigade began to quake, so wet were they with anticipation for the incipient electro-massacre.Sure, everyone standing inside McCarling’s unholy temple to the God of Sell-Out – and everyone sitting in a honey-comb quad reading this ‘review’ – can remember their summer from two years ago.
Warm evenings, sticky nights inside spent shaking bodies violently to ‘Over and Over’, Hot Chip’s magnum opus from previous album The Warning. The song, which literally demands to be played over and over again, is a mantra for the band which has done so much to stimulate collaboration between those two promiscuous bedfellows: Herr Electro and Madame Indie. ‘Over and Over’ is the manifesto of the International Front for the Hot Chip Revolution. When it hit hard the Oxford Masses just want one thing: more.
The ’ Chip did not disappoint – the kids relaxed. The schoolboys revelled in the heady scent of Lynx antiperspirant, safe in the knowledge that they were witnessing something generation-defining. Fuck-off The Ramones, Factory Records and you a-million anarchist punk-bands.
Here in 2007 we may not be changing the world, but we’re Us, and when we listen to Alexis Taylor sing about Colours, about school, we the masses are with him. Hot Chip’s success is clearly partly due to their unpretentious evocation of common experience, and tonight it really comes through.